Events are still unfolding, but it appears as though we’ve had another terror attack on US soil. At least two bombs were detonated and several people were killed, and countless others were horribly wounded.
When tragedy strikes, we want answers. We want justice. We want to make it better. And we want to package it neatly so that we can understand it and tuck it neatly away. When tragedy strikes, we default to sweeping statements and to soaring rhetoric.
But there’s a problem…it isn’t helpful. As a matter of fact, it can be devastating to victims of tragedies, and it can unfairly place innocent people in the path of a blood-thirsty society that is eager to make someone pay…even if that person is innocent.
So, what can we say? What is really helpful in situations like these?
Very little, actually. Victims don’t benefit by hearing your version of why God allowed this to happen. I’ve never met one person who was comforted by the phrase: “I guess God needed them for a big job in Heaven.” Actually, I’d challenge you to NOT speak much at all. You can’t make it better. You won’t eliminate anyone’s pain with your slick words. And the more you talk, the more you minimize another’s pain.
When you talk or tweet about this tonight, remember this advice: FEW words. MORE action. HEARTFELT prayer. MUCH love.